Jazz had a great weekend at the Western Pennsylvania Kennel Association's Rally Trial at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh. Saturday's run was a bit shaky, as I immediately started off by patting my leg, which you are NOT allowed to do in Rally Excellent! Fortunately, I caught myself, and although we lost points for it, we were not disqualified. Then I had a "wardobe malfunction" when my nifty new armband holder slid down my arm to my elbow and nearly fell off! I spent the first three obstacles trying to push it back up my arm, and by that point Jazz knew something was up. I finally got myself together and we had a nice finish to the course. Jazz then followed that with a wonderful down-stay honor, despite the fact that there were young children lining the ring gating immediately behind her! Amazingly, we not only qualified but took first place with that crazy run!
Sunday, things were looking a little better for Team Jazz. I was determined not to pat my leg. Friends suggested that I put my hand in my pocket or put my arm in a sling to prevent another mishap, but I kept my head on straight and made it through the course without patting my leg. I also cinched that armband holder up so tight that I nearly lost circulation in my arm, but it prevented any "wardrobe malfunctions" on Sunday. Since I could devote all my attention to Jazz, she had a great run with a score of 93!! This time, Jazz was the only qualifier in Rally Excellent A, so it was another first place and the second leg towards our RE title. None of the other dogs in the class held their honor, which was a sit-stay. We again had quite the audience of young children right at the ring gating, and my friends were enjoying the look of abject terror on my face as one little boy started to reach across the ring gating to pet Jazz as she performed the honor with her back to the little boy. Another Rally competitor saved us by stepping forward and asking the child to move back from the ring gating, but I was already suffering from heart palpitations at that point!
The WPKA show is probably the biggest of the year in Pittsburgh. There is a huge conformation show, obedience, and rally, and many members of the general public attend; hence, the presence of small children at the ring gating. On the other hand, many of our friends were there Saturday to cheer us on, including all of Jazz's "Grandmas": LaDonna, who owns Jazz's mom Gia, and Barb and Nancy, who co-own Jazz's dad Tolliver. Jazz's brother Peet's parents were also there (thanks, Eric, for the sling suggestion), as well as my nephew and his wife, who took some really awesome photos of me and Jazz, including the ones here. Thanks, guys, for all of your support!
Several of the Rally competitors were also friends and students from our Rally class. Karen and Bullet qualified both days and earned their Rally Novice title. Ron and Deb with Bailey qualified on Saturday and earned their Rally Novice title. Nancy and Andy qualified both days and earned their Rally Novice title on Sunday with a first place finish. Sally and Sweet Pea qualified on Saturday, their very first time in the Rally ring. Val and Oslo qualified both days, and Kristi and Izzi qualified on Sunday. Congratulations to everyone and thanks for a fun weekend!